Speaking of the Tightwad Gazette, I was flipping through it and came upon this:
When my sister was married last year, I took the half-dead roses from her bouquet after the ceremony. At home, I rooted them by cutting off the heads, making a clean cut on the bottoms, dipping the fresh-cut bottoms in rooting hormone, and putting them in a pot that was half Perlite and half soil. I kept these moist until rooted and then planted them in a shaded location in my garden. This year, on her first anniversary, my sister received a gift that could never be replace: 12 rose bushes from her wedding bouquet.
— Kimberly Hill
As soon as I read that, I immediately imagined a rose garden made from anniversary, wedding, Valentine’s, and other meaningful bouquets that you receive in a lifetime.
I was under the impression that rooting roses is hard, but the above passage makes it sound like rooting any other plant. In fact, this how-to on rooting roses in Hartwood Roses goes over almost the exact same process. They recycle a milk jug to plant the cutting in and a soda bottle to protect the rose from the elements and keep in moisture while it roots, like so:
I find that winter is a good time for little gardening projects like this. Now if someone would just bring me a bouquet of roses…
ETA: Since writing this post, I tried this, and the rose didn’t root. I would be interested in hearing other people’s experiences with this idea. Has anyone been able to get to root roses this way?
ETA 2: I enjoyed reading Sheila’s comment about her experience with rooting roses:
For years, I wanted to take a cutting from my now deceased mother’s Peace rose. It’s a beautiful yellow rose with pink accents around the tops of the blooms.
For my first attempt, I took 5 cuttings, dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them straight into pots. I kept the pots in the greenhouse to protect them. Watered every few days when the soil felt like it was drying out. Only one took root. This rose is not true to the parent rose, it is growing as a miniature. Nonetheless, I did manage to root something of my mom’s in her honor.